13 JULY 2020


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Article from BTNews 13 JULY 2020

FCO and cruise ships

Last Tuesday the Foreign & Commonwealth Office (FCO) reiterated its March advice against cruise ship travel at this time.

“This is due to the ongoing pandemic and is based on medical advice from Public Health England,” it said in a statement.  It is the opposite of the news last Friday opening up the English borders to over 70 countries.  (See Quarantine rules in this week's BTN)

Cruises from the UK have been halted since March but Hurtigruten announced plans this week to run a series of departures from UK ports in September and as reported in last week’s BTN has started limited cruises in Norway.

The FCO’s previous advice on 12 March said that British nationals aged 70 and over, and those with underlying health conditions such as chronic diseases and diabetes, should not travel on cruise ships in response to the coronavirus outbreak.

A spokesman for the cruise industry trade body CLIA UK and Ireland spokesperson said: “We have noted the advisory issued today.  The health and safety of guests and crew is an absolute priority for our member lines.

“Since the voluntary suspension of operations, we have been working collaboratively with the government on the road map to resumption involving a ‘door to door’ strategy – from the time of booking through to the passengers’ return home – with enhanced health protocols.”  Around two million UK residents were expected to take a cruise holiday this year, a record figure.

CMV is planning to introduce cruises from a number of UK ports from 25 August but with the exception of a Hull to Newcastle overnight 29 August, all involve overseas points.  Whether the Tilbury-based company will reschedule using only UK destinations remains to be seen, Scotland and the Channel Islands making their own rules.  Round Britain cruises have always been popular during the summer months.

Hapag-Lloyd Cruises are to resume with 40% fewer passengers on board starting at the end of July.  It plans eight new short cruises starting and finishing in Hamburg – initially for residents of Germany, Austria and Switzerland only.

A full list of sea going cruise lines can be found in BTN 6 July and for river ships BTN 1 June.  These will be combined for 3 August issue giving an easy reference.


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